By Kristin Sadler, Rafa de la Guia, and Alejandro Safdie
How much can be learned from a market in only one week? We just put this to the test by co-organizing a 4-day Mexico City Fintech Trek with This Week In Fintech, inviting Quona portfolio companies and LPs — as well as relevant fintech investors and founders from around the world — to learn more about the fintech opportunity in one of Quona’s key markets: Mexico.
Here’s a rundown of the event:
1 “Quona Day,” exclusively catered to Quona portfolio companies and LPs
3 days of the “CDMX Fintech Trek,” co-hosted with This Week in Fintech
15 panels and fireside chats with some of the most prominent names in Mexico, including fintechs, investors, and regulators
60+ founders (including 20 Quona portfolio companies)
150+ total Fintech Trek participants, including founders, investors, and fintech partners from the US, Brazil, Germany, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Switzerland, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Croatia, and the UK, amongst other countries.
91 NPS from participating Quona founders
We covered a lot over just four days, including the evolution of tech in Mexico (the VC and founder ecosystem), macroeconomic tailwinds, regulatory challenges, and a deep dive into the major sectors driving fintech forward in the country — with a specific emphasis on sustainable and innovative business models that can generate real economic impact and drive financial inclusion forward. We also left plenty of time for fun and networking. Participants got the opportunity to chat while exploring the finest things Mexico City has to offer: taco tours, rooftop happy hours, superb food, as well as the city’s rich cultural and archaeological heritage.
Some of the week’s session highlights:
- We navigated the Mexican Macroeconomy and Political Landscape with JPMorgan’s Chief Economist Gabriel Lozano, and got a masterclass about the Opportunities and Challenges of Fintech Regulation while pursuing innovation from top voices: Gunderson, Bitso, and White & Case. The lesson? It is a challenging yet rewarding environment for those who are willing to commit to Mexico long term.
- We journeyed through the Evolution of Mexico’s Venture Ecosystem with some VCs that have been investing in Mexico for almost a decade (the “OGs”), featuring ALLVP, Cometa, Ralicap, and Wollef. We discussed the Opportunity for Growth Capital and Exits with Proton Partners, BIVA, Clara, and General Atlantic. And we got a breakdown on the state of Debt Capital Markets with CIM, BIVA, Fairplay, Mattilda, and Yave. The ecosystem has become dramatically more sophisticated over the years, and founders are now surrounded by a robust and diverse set of investors interested in the Mexican opportunity.
- We witnessed outstanding thematic fintech panels featuring some of the top tech companies in Mexico, including a panel on Neobanks with some of the country’s key players (Klar, NuBank, Revolut, and Uala), one on Payments (with Stripe, Galileo, Kushki, and MercadoPago), one on MSME Finance (with TWIF, Clip, GuruHotel, Tribal Credit, and Xepelin), and another one on Embedded Finance (with Monashees, Rappi, R2, Solvento, and Worky)
- We reviewed in-depth two of the hottest topics in the Americas with our portfolio companies: the Opportunities in Cross-border Models and at the Intersection of the Industrial Economy and Fintech driven by nearshoring. We went through the opportunities presented by these trends with Quona portfolio companies Finkargo, Global66, Mercai, Nocnoc, Prima, and Solvento, and explored the multiple open questions that need to be addressed.
- We heard David Arana, Founder and CEO of Mexican unicorn and Quona portfolio company Konfío, share lessons from building and scaling a billion dollar company, and how much the landscape has changed since Konfio’s origins almost a decade ago
- We listened to Gaby Rolon, Country Manager of Creditas Mexico, sharing the lessons learned by a Brazilian company expanding into Mexico, particularly around the cultural and structural differences between these two countries.
- We chatted with Stefan Moller, Founder and CEO of Klar, about the evolving landscape for digital banks in the country, and the importance of setting up the right regulatory and technological infrastructure early on.
Stay tuned for lessons from some of these sessions over the coming weeks, and let us know if you’d be interested in joining us for future market immersion trips!